Acts Of Violence DVD
This is probably one of my favorite mondo/shockumentaries.
This documentary touches a lot of bases on the whole “America Is A Boiling Pot Of Hatred And Violence” field. The cases they touch on are all really interesting and they really go in depth. It was impressive.
I’ve been really fascinated by James Huberty and his McDonalds Massacre for a while now and this is really the best documentary about it that I’ve seen(I am yet to see 77 Minutes.) Even though it’s not entirely about that specific case, but to be fair it takes up the first 45 minutes of runtime. There’s a lot of great background about the family, including photographs and backstory. I know it’s been 30 years since this all went down, so it makes sense that there’s more information available now than there was in this documentary. So that gets a pass. There was also a lot of great interviews with witnesses and family members and victims. But the stand out interview was with Huberty’s widow. She was able to laugh about things and sort of reflect on their relationship. I didn’t know that Huberty was a right wing Hitler worshipping fascist.
Once they’re done pounding you with Huberty info, they start to get into political assassination information. They run through all of the assassination attempts from the 70’s and get into what becomes their next focus, John Hinckley Jr. The son of a millionaire, obsessed with Jodi Foster, he tried to pop Reagan to impress her. Again they knock it out of the park with this one. There’s footage of the assassination attempt. They make several comparisons to Taxi Driver. It seemed like they didn’t have as many people to interview for Hinckley because this segment is about ten minutes long and feels more like a sociology class.
After Hinckley, they get into Henry Lee Lucas. This is some really outstanding stuff too. His willingness to casually chat with interviewers about his little reign of terror makes for great material. The narrator pronounced Ottis Toole’s name weird and it made me cringe. They didn’t really have a lot of people to interview here either, but between Lucas himself and the arresting officers, it’s really on point. At one point he says that he liked the sheriff, so the interviewer asks the sheriff if he likes Henry and he responds with “well, I don’t like what he’s done.” Which was bizarre. Henry is really just great for interview material. I can’t stress this enough. He’s soft spoken and calm but his stories are so aggressive.
The rest of the film is just some dude in a suit telling stories about the failure of the justice system. Some of the stuff he talks about is really interesting but the film sort of slows down around here. It sort of wraps up by talking about how Hinckley and Huberty were already on the police’s radar. Hinckley being arrested prior to the Reagan situation for carrying guns onto a plane and Huberty for calling in to a mental health hotline. After that it goes back into sounding like a text book.
Every once in a while they had this really neat synth music with narration that made me feel like I was watching something way more exploitive than I was. But for something that could’ve been dealt with in a sleazy way, I feel like this film was really respectful to everyone involved. Even evil old Henry Lee.
Definitely worth a watch if you’re into true crime stuff. Everything they touch on is worth doing your own research into as well. - Your Humble Narrator
“Surprisingly engaging serial killer doc from the America Undercover series that had its own separate VHS release on Lightning Video. It benefits greatly from two lengthy interviews in particular: one with Etna Huberty, the widow of James Oliver Huberty, the man who shot 40 civilians in a San Diego McDonald's in 1984; and one with serial killer Henry Lee Lucas. Definitely recommend, and it's on YouTube right now in good quality.” - Good Old Justin Wiese
“Well researched, in-depth documentary from Lightning Video that focuses on American violence, in particular three cases—James Huberty (McDonald's shooter), Sirhan Sirhan, and Henry Lee Lucas. If you're familiar with The Killing of America, you ought to check this out; it easily could have been released as a sequel. Despite treating Henry Lee Lucas like a prolific serial killer.” - Good Old Cham Ferguson